Pentagon seeks 5G prototype proposals

The Defense Department has fleshed out draft plans for two of its planned 5G technology testbeds at military bases around the country.

The Army Contracting Command wants industry input for draft prototype proposals for wireless 5G technology testbeds to be located at military bases in Georgia and Utah. Proposals for two additional 5G test sites are also in the works.

The two requests were for proposals for 5G testbeds at Hill Air Force Base in Utah and the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Ga. The Air Force site in Utah will test dynamic spectrum-sharing applications, while the Marine Corps will test wireless smart warehouse and asset management applications, according to the command's filing in late November on The original filing was revised in early December.

The Dec. 2 revision sped up the response timeline for the proposals, changing an initial deadline for responses from early February next year to Dec. 16, 2019.

The Defense Department, in late October, announced four bases that it planned to test emerging 5G technologies. Those sites included Hill Air Force Base and the Marine Corps Logistics base, but the department also tapped Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state and Naval Base San Diego.

The Dec. 2 filing said draft requests for prototypes for 5G projects at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Naval Base San Diego will come "in the near future."

Along with the spectrum sharing and automated warehouse applications, the plans also call for a testbed for integrated augmented/virtual reality mission and training applications.

The Army Contracting Command, based in New Jersey, is running the prototype effort through a five-year Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) with the National Spectrum Consortium, a key industry/government/academia group for 5G technologies. The NSC, said the command, has a "uniquely qualified mix" of traditional and non-traditional contractors, as well as universities, investment firms and other groups that represent the "key players" in emerging 5G technologies.

The 5G plans, announced by DOD CIO Dana Deasy in June, will not only guide the agency in how to apply 5G in its facilities in the future, but also leave useable 5G infrastructure in place at the chosen sites.

This article first appeared on FCW, a partner site of Defense Systems.